I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Jamba (NASDAQ:JMBA) makes its way to Indianapolis soon to open one of its famed Jamba Juice fruit smoothie stores. Judging by recent developments, Jamba is gearing up for an aggressive push to become the latest national beverage concept. But will the endeavor turn into smooth sailing for investors?

Jamba is clearly an appealing concept with a devoted following of health-conscious consumers with a taste for the company's smoothies, nutrient-rich "boosts" to add vitamins and other supplements, other fresh-squeezed juices,  and low-cal bakery items. It should come as no surprise that the concept was founded in California in 1990 and made its way up and down the state shortly after that.

Jamba is still an infant, with more than 630 stores in about 10 states, 400 of which are company-owned. A recent Piper Jaffray report I read suggested the company can grow to as many as 5,000 stores in the U.S., with the potential for international expansion. Indeed, management intends to open a "significant number of new stores" and is ready to test the waters in new markets.

After that, the growth story becomes significantly murkier. In first-quarter results released Monday night, revenue increased 22% from the prior-year period. Company-owned same-store sales improved 4.2%, but you may have noticed there are limited sales and expense details from last year's first quarter.

Part of that stems from the company's decision to change its fiscal year, but fellow Fool Rick Aristotle Munarriz said it best by saying Jamba has taken an eclectic path to going public, which includes the acquisition of erstwhile Jamba Juice Co. by a company then known as Services Acquisition Corp. International.

I'm finding that Jamba has appeal because its expansion opportunities are vast, but companies such as Chipotle (NYSE:CMG), Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD), and Sonic (NASDAQ:SONC) have equally compelling prospects and more verifiable track records of profitable growth as public companies. In addition, a recent BusinessWeek article mentioned that 80% of customers frequent Jamba Juice stores only a couple of times a month, meaning the economics differ substantially from other fast-growing food and beverage consumer concepts. Coffeehouses can count on customers for their daily fix of caffeine, meaning Caribou Coffee (NASDAQ:CBOU) and Peet's Coffee (NASDAQ:PEET) could also be worth a look. I look forward to Jamba Juice making it to Indiana, but will hold off on becoming an investor for the time being.  

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Fool contributor Ryan Fuhrmann has no financial interest in any company mentioned. The Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy. Feel free to email him with feedback or to discuss any companies mentioned further.